Small car: diesel or petrol?

Small cars are particularly suitable for urban terrain. We compare the requirements with the strengths and weaknesses of diesel and petrol engines, thus answering the question: which engine fits the small car class better.

A small car is primarily a car for city traffic

Depending on the equipment, a small car can accommodate four or five people. However, occupants sitting in the back seat usually have very little legroom. The trunk is also tight. Small car buyers are often young people, singles or families who need a second car. The use of the vehicle is often limited to trips to work, shopping or to friends and family.

Small car drivers often state that they mainly drive the vehicle in city traffic. Due to the limited space available, vacation trips are rather the exception.

Because driving on the freeway is less comfortable than in a larger car. Although many modern small cars have comfortable seats and good overall equipment, they are not as good on the road due to their low weight. However, a fast drive over the highway is quite possible due to powerful engines. Whether a diesel or gasoline engine is more suitable for you must be considered before buying a car.

Diesel as a motor for long distances

Before deciding on one of the two engines, be sure to take a close look at your driving habits. It is also important that you know the properties of the two motors.

  • The diesel engine is an engine that should be used as rarely as possible in short-haul operations. The engine turns lower than a gasoline engine. As a consequence, the engine takes longer to reach its operating temperature.
  • If the engine is cold, it is subject to increased wear. The compression decreases and the piston rings wear out. As a result, the engine burns oil.
  • If you are only traveling in the city with your small car, the oil stays cold. The material only expands when the engine is warm and only then develops the optimal running properties.
  • Ideally, you should drive your diesel engine at least until it has reached operating temperature. Depending on the size of the engine, the distance can be 20 kilometers. These values ​​serve as a guideline for your car purchase.

Advantages and disadvantages of the diesel engine

The advantages of the diesel engine are the longer overall running time, lower consumption and lower fuel costs. A liter of diesel is 10 to 15 cents cheaper than gasoline. However, other costs are higher for diesel, such as vehicle tax. There is also a higher purchase price for the purchase of a diesel vehicle. This applies to both new and used cars. The costs of motor vehicle liability insurance are also somewhat more expensive. If you add up all the costs and compare them with the expenses for a petrol engine, a small diesel car with a mileage of around 20,000 kilometers a year is worthwhile. However, the annual mileage of a small car is often lower. If you often drive short distances, it is advantageous to choose a petrol engine.

Economical on the go with petrol

At the gas station, you pay more for gasoline. Nevertheless, it is possible to drive economically with a petrol engine. The current small cars are in the car cost check below the cost of diesel since modern engines are very economical in consumption.

Choose a small engine if you are looking for a vehicle that is cheap in tax and insurance. You can get cheap small cars from manufacturers such as Peugeot, VW or Opel. The VW Polo and the Opel Corsa are popular vehicles. Many manufacturers offer small cars, where you can choose between engines with petrol or diesel. So it’s best to make your decision based on the kilometers traveled per year and the average distance traveled.

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